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Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG

Jayesh Shinde 2010-08-06
82 Very Good
Price: Rs 45,000

Full Review

Announced last month, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG is a 14-inch laptop that packs in an Intel Core i5-430M processor and dedicated ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics, making it a powerful 14-inch laptop -- at least on paper. It also claims to offer eight hours of battery life.

Design
The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop’s exterior looks exactly like the Aspire TimelineX 4820T laptop. It has the same unassuming polished screen lid with brushed metal finish and the inside sports a black keyboard deck with a silver gray touchpad and palmrest strip.

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop promises a lot of speed and performance given its internal hardware, not to mention gaming as well.


The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG is well built, and although not quite ultraportable, it’s thin and weighs 2.1-kg (with a six-cell battery) and has a form factor that’s easy to carry around compared to other 14-inch laptops -- like the Dell Studio 14 Artist Edition and Acer Aspire 4740.

Usability

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop has a 14-inch glossy LED-backlit widescreen display, with a 1366x768 pixel resolution and a 16:9 aspect ratio -- ideal for watching high-def HD content. The Aspire TimelieX 4820TG’s screen is bright and sharp with good viewing angles (at best) -- nice for watching movies or reading text for extended hours. A 1.3MP webcam and microphone on the Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop’s top screen bezel come in handy during Skype videochats.

The keyboard and touchpad on the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop are exactly the same as on the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T laptop. The chiclet-styled keys are well-laid out on the black keyboard deck and are pretty good for typing. The Timeline X 4820TG laptop’s touchpad is nice and wide, offers very good feedback, and is gesture-enabled -- something you don’t see on a lot of laptops. The 4820TG’s multi-gesture touchpad executes two-finger scrolling, pinch-to-zoom and rotate functions very well.

Hardware Specs & Features
The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop is available in two configurations. The unit we tested comes with an Intel Core i5-430M 2.26-GHz processor with Intel Turbo Boost (max clock speed of 2.53-GHz under load) and Hyper Threading support. It also has 4GB DDR3 RAM, 500GB (5400rpm) hard drive, Intel GMA HD and ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics (1GB) -- the most potent hardware combination we’ve seen on a mainstream laptop below Rs. 50,000. The laptop supports switchable graphics -- Intel GMA HD for maximum battery life and ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics for maximum performance.

The other Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG offering has the exact same specs and features as the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T laptop -- with ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics (512MB). If anything, the Aspire TimelineX 4820TG could've come with a faster-spinning 7200rpm drive, but this is just nitpicking.

Connectivity options on the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG include four USB 2.0 ports, HDMI and VGA for video, two audio jacks -- microphone and headphone/SPDIF -- Gigabit Ethernet and a card reader. The Aspire Timeline X 4820TG supports both wireless Wi-Fi 802.11 b/g/n and Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR connectivity. The laptop has a tray-loading 8x DVD writer on its right edge, it’s eject button placed between the keyboard and hinge.

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop comes with 64-bit Windows 7 Home Premium operating system, and promises a lot of speed and performance given its internal hardware.

Performance
If there’s one thing the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG excels at is its performance. Its WorldBench 6 score over 100 is a sign of a very good, powerful laptop -- similarly, a PC Mark Vantage score of 5636, Cinebench score of 7888, and a PC Mark 05 score of 7254 are all very good for a laptop of its class -- better even than the Dell Inspiron 14R. Both memory-intensive and processor-intensive tasks will execute smoothly on the Acer Aspire Timeline X 4820TG laptop, and you can multitask with ease.

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop’s dedicated ATI Radeon HD 5650 graphics is pretty good for gaming -- it got a 3D Mark 06 score of 7545. Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 at 1366x768, 4xAA, with everything else maxed out, ran smoothly. Far Cry 2 -- Ultra High settings, 4xAA, 1366x768 res -- clocked an average of 27.8 fps. Although the laptop heated up a bit, the gaming experience on the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG is certainly a lot better than the ATI Radeon HD 5470 graphics equipped laptops in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops list. Its heat shouldn't be a problem if you keep the Aspire TimelineX 4820TG on a desk while gaming.

Watching both 720p and 1080p HD videos on the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T laptop went well. The laptop’s 14-inch screen displayed nice cinematic visuals, while the accompanying onboard audio from speakers placed above the keyboard was good. For a 14-inch thin laptop, the Acer Aspire Timeline X 4820TG stakes a serious claim for a home entertainment laptop.

Battery Life
Acer claims the Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop to last 8 hours on a single battery charge -- not since the CULV-based Aspire Timeline 4810T laptop has any mainstream 14-inch laptop gone past that mark. The Intel Core i3-based Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG managed just under 7 hours, and it’s no surprise the Intel Core i5-equipped Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop doesn’t reach anywhere close to that mark.

On Intel GMA HD graphics mode, the laptop's battery lasted 1 hour 38 minutes in our synthetic tests -- at full-screen brightness and high performance preset. While browsing the Web over Wi-Fi at 50-percent screen brightness and optical drive disabled through Acer PowerSmart tool, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop lasted 3 hours 48 minutes on a single battery charge. Not even close to Acer’s claim of 8 hours, but still better than any other laptop in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops list.

Bottom Line

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG laptop sells for a price of Rs. 48,999 with one year international warranty. It is not only thin compared to other 14-inch laptops -- like the Dell Studio 14, Dell Inspiron 14R and MSI CX420 -- but packs in quite a punch with its high performance and bundles a graphics processor that allows for a decent gaming experience on a laptop.

The Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG also offers pretty good battery life -- better than any other laptop in our Top 5 Mainstream Laptops list. But nowhere close to its claimed 8 hours -- for that buy the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820T. If you desire a powerful all-purpose laptop for home, one that is good for gaming, and easy to carry around, the Acer Aspire TimelineX 4820TG is the one to buy.

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